Dallas Mavericks: Important lessons from the 2022 NBA Finals

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The NBA finals are here and the Dallas Mavericks were just three wins shy of being on the big stage. Like the Dallas Cowboys fans say “Maybe Next Year.”

Now with the offseason underway, the team has a lot of work to do.

Do they sign Jalen Brunson to a long-term contract? Who can they can to pair along side? What big man can they sway to come to Dallas?

Maybe the Dallas Mavericks can learn a lesson or two from this years NBA finals.

One thing that has made the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics successful over the years is their ability to draft and grow within. Most than half of the roster from both teams are draft picks they hand selected themselves and developed from the start.

While they did get lucky having early first round selections, not every player was selected early on. Some ballers like Draymond Green and Robert Williams were late first rounders or early second round picks.

Unlike Boston and Golden State, Dallas has not faired well with growing and maintaining their draftees.

From 2012 – 2020, (We don’t count 2021 since they didn’t have a selection) the Mavs have had at least 14 draft picks. Some names include Justin Anderson and Dennis Smith Jr, whom both last less than two seasons. Other known players that the Mavericks drafted and traded on draft night include Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk.

However, the team has found some success in the draft with names like Jalen Brunson and Josh Green. (Remember Luka Doncic was traded to the team, not drafted.)

Another lesson from this year’s finals includes the ability to have multiple all-stars. If you look at the Warriors’ roster they have at least three players who have made at least an all-star game more than three times. For Boston, the same can be said as they have two young players who were all-stars in 2021.

For now, the Dallas Mavericks just have Doncic. Eventually Brunson could become an all-star, as he took the biggest leap this past season improving his points per game from 12.6 to 16.3.

Although if Brunson is not the answer, Dallas must look else where to find the perfect match for Doncic and the Mavericks. Some big names that could be on the market this offseason include James Harden, Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal and Deandre Ayton.

If this doesn’t work then the team must look towards trade partners to get their second man.

While fans can argue that the next lesson they must learn is having a true big man, we are going in a different direction. The Dallas Mavericks must be a top three defensive team in the league.

This season, the Mavs improved their defensive tremendously. Just a year ago they ranked 8th overall in General Team Defense. This season they finished fifth. While not much improved besides their defensive rating, they still have a lot of areas to improve on.

In terms of defensive rebounding, they averaged around 33 boards. A year ago, they were close to 34-35 rebounds. While it is a small drop, it still shows that there has not been any sort of improvement on the glass. Plus this is the reason I did not include a big man, you see they cannot improve their defensive rating as a team without focusing on things like rebounds, blocks and points in the paint.

This all comes with having a reliable big man down low.

Sports Dallas Fort-Worth
Sports Dallas Fort-Worth /

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Next. Fear not! If the Dallas Mavericks want Jalen Brunson back, they’ll get him. dark

So while it may be disappointing to not see the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals this year, Marc Cuban and company have a lot to learn if they want to reach the next level.